NBA

Paul Silas, three-time NBA champion and two-time All-Star, dies at 79

Paul Silas, three-time NBA champion and two-time All-Star, dies at 79

Paul Silas, a triple NBA champion who later became head coach, has died, according to Boston sports columnist Bob Ryan. Silas was 79 years old.

Ryan, the Boston Globe sports columnist emeritus, made the revelation about Silas’ death in a tweet Sunday morning.

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Charlotte Bobcats head coach Paul Silas looks on during the Heat’s game in Miami, Florida on April 13, 2012.
(Reuters/Andrew Innerarity)

“So sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has passed away at the age of 79. Watching him play was a joy. Being his friend was an honor,” Ryan tweeted.

His tweet prompted an outpouring of tributes on social media.

Silas was a second-round pick in 1964 by the Saint Louis Falcons. He played for the Hawks from 1964 to 1969 and quickly became a useful power forward in the NBA. He would join the Phoenix Suns in 1969 and make his first All-Star Game in 1972, his final year in Phoenix.

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Paul Silas, three-time NBA champion and two-time All-Star, dies at 79

Hornets head coach Paul Silas at the Charlotte Coliseum.
(Reuters)

He had a real impact with the Boston Celtics from 1972-1976. He would make one more All-Star team and win two championships with the Celtics alongside Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Paul Westphal and Jo Jo White, among others, helping to maintain the organization’s early dynasty.

He would play his final four seasons with the expansion Denver Nuggets or Seattle SuperSonics.

He finished his career with three NBA titles, two All-Star appearances and five All-Defensive Team selections. He averaged 9.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game during his career.

Paul Silas of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball against the Washington Bullets circa 1975 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.

Paul Silas of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball against the Washington Bullets circa 1975 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.
(Focus on Sports/Getty Images)

Silas got his first head coaching job with the San Diego Clippers in 1980. He coached there for three seasons before being let go. Silas did not get another head coaching job until he was named head coach of the Charlotte Hornets in 1998. He would also coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Bobcats.

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Silas is the father of two: his son Stephen Silas, who is the head coach of the Houston Rockets, and his daughter Paula.



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